16 Great Directors: Billy Wilder

“Some pictures play wonderfully to a room of eight people. I don’t go for that. I go for the masses. I go for the end effect.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Some Like It Hot/Sunset Blvd.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Sunset Blvd.

What Did I Watch: Five Graves to Cairo.

Where Does He Fit: Despite having Erich von Stroheim before Sunset Boulevard came along, Five Graves to Cairo doesn’t have much of a reputation nowadays within Wilder’s filmography. This is probably because no one is talking for a fairly long stretch at the start, and then there’s just one man talking to himself. Despite the incredibly weird sight of Franchot Tone wandering around the hotel like he’s in heat with a very bad attempt at an accent, and the fact that the plot is Thin Man levels of coherent, there’s still something undeniably rousing about this weird blurry ball of crazy. It’s the only time Wilder skewed fully surreal.


Most Valuable Asset: Skill with words.
Most Excited For: Avanti.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: The silent clown Charlie Chaplin.


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